October 14, 2021
Wisconsin Supreme Court Extends Order That Allows Remote Depositions
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has issued another extension of a temporary order that allows court reporters to take depositions remotely.
Jeff M. Brown
Oct. 14, 2021 – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has issued another extension of a temporary order that allows court reporters to take depositions remotely.
The original order was prompted by the pandemic and was issued on March 24, 2020. In that order, the supreme court determined that a court reporter taking a deposition in Wisconsin is not required to be in the physical presence of a witness to administer an oath for a deposition upon oral examination under Wis. Stat. §§ (Rules) 804.03 and 804.05 or a court order. All that’s required is that the reporter can identify the witness by seeing and hearing him or her over audio-visual technology.
The order was previously extended in June 2021 and was set to expire on Dec. 1, 2021.
The latest extension runs until July 1, 2022 and restates the terms of the original order:
A court reporter who is qualified to administer an oath in Wisconsin may use audio-visual technology to remotely administer an oath to a deposition witness located in Wisconsin, as long as the reporter can see and hear the witness and identify him or her
A witness located outside Wisconsin may consent to having a court reporter who is qualified to administer an oath in Wisconsin use audio-visual technology to remotely administer the oath
The remote administration of an oath at a deposition using audio-visual technology in compliance with the order constitutes the administration of an oath before a court reporter under both Wis. Stat. §§ (Rules) 804.03(1) and 887.01(1) or any court order authorizing a deposition upon oral examination.
Any other rule, procedure, court order, or opinion that applies to remote depositions that can be read to limit or prohibit the use of audio-visual technology to administer oaths at a deposition is superseded.
The order does not affect the ability of parties to stipulate in writing that depositions may be taken before any person at any time or place, upon any notice, and in any manner under Wis. Stat. § (Rule) 804.04. Additionally, parties to an action or proceeding may, by written stipulation, change the procedures listed in the order.
The order also notes a pending petition (21-05), filed by the Wisconsin Association for Justice, which askes the court to issue an order adopting a permanent rule for the remote administration of oaths at depositions. The supreme court will consider that petition in the coming months.
You can read the order
here. Check to the State Bar’s
COVID-19 Response Page for links to court orders and other pandemic-related information.